2. Less pressure
Entering year two, the Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving partnership is under less pressure. After playing under a microscope a year ago, the duo is now seemingly overlooked.
In today's NBA, players are constantly on the move. Whether it be through trade or free agency, it's now expected that a big name will be moved year in, year out.
Most recently, star guard Damian Lillard was shipped to Milwaukee as part of a massive three-team blockbuster including Jrue Holiday, DeAndre Ayton, Jusuf Nurkic, and more.
Rather than focusing on a trade, now over seven months old, the NBA world is now laser-focused on the new Lillard-Antetkounmpo pairing and other more pressing narratives surrounding the beginning of the 2023-24 NBA season.
A recent panel of NBA.com writers even went as far as to exclude the Mavs from their Western Conference playoff predictions. And to add another apron of doubt, the NBA GMs recently appeared to be serious doubters of the Mavs.
Now with less pressure to perform, the dynamic Dallas duo should be able to settle into a rhythm as the season progresses. The partnership will get chances to iron out discrepancies in the early part of the season, before Christmas rolls around and things really start to get moving.